Study: Dense Breasts Don’t Increase Cancer Deaths

Research finds having “less fatty” breast tissue doesn’t affect survival rate

by Lesley Kennedy • Reporter

Worried that your dense breasts could mean breast cancer?

A new study shows women with the disease who had dense, or less fatty, breast tissue had the same survival rate as other patients, USA Today reports.

“It’s a bit of a surprise,” Barbara Monsees, chairwoman of the American College of Radiology’s breast imaging commission, tells the newspaper (she was not part of the research team). “It shows we have a lot to learn about dense breast tissue and its implications for screening, diagnosis and treatment.”

Karla Kerlikowske, coauthor of the study and a University of California–San Francisco professor of medicine, tells the newspaper the study should bring some comfort to the 25 percent of women who have dense breasts.

“Treatments are really good now,” she tells USA Today. “Our density isn’t going to affect how we do. It doesn’t put us at additional risk of dying.”

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